Overcoming Self-Doubt

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Now this title is a little misleading, but bear with me. I am so so SOOO far away for conquering self-doubt. I mean… it’s quite the process, people! My struggle with self-doubt will probably never be over until I am maybe in a walker… or maybe dead. Despite this I figured I would share a bit about my journey so here we go. 

As a small business owner, my days usually look quite different. My daily schedule changes, depending on the projects I'm tackling. 

Some days I leap out of bed like I just spotted a really cute bulldog. You know the feeling. I'm bright, expectant and ready to take on the world.

Other days, if I'm between jobs or am overwhelmed by assignments, I may feel down in the dumps. On those days, I try to remember we are in this together. Everyone feels inadequate or has self-doubt at one time or another. 

The beauty in this is we can overcome these down-in-the-dumps feelings by simply remembering this is normal! We all experience ups and downs. We can learn from down times, too.   

Some of the best growth has happened (especially for me) during my rainy (or sometimes even stormy!) days.  

Rainy days or cute dog-spotting days. We can get through anything once we realize we are not alone.

This concept has not been an easy one of me to grasp. I feel like the way the world yells out most of the time is to play a comparison game. The ole’ do or die speech. I suppose this much can be true from time to time—but not all. Sometimes I find that when I am still I feel the most content. Perhaps putting the stop sign up in our own lives-maybe just a little at a time at first- is really the best medicine for Self-Doubt. 

To be continued…

//  Top: Madewell Jeans: NYDJ Shoes: Bryr Clogs Bag: Anne Klein 

+ photos by Kat Harris

a bit on love...

I've learned a lot about unconditional love lately. Sharing my life with my precious husband has taught me love is a choice, a choice we make every day. 

Knowing love is a choice and not some fleeting feeling can be very empowering. We may not always feel like loving, but we can certainly choose to love.  After feelings fade, love can continue. My parents and grandparents have shown me the joy of making a love choice for life. 

Life will never be perfect. We shouldn't expect people to be either. The most blessed thing we can do is to love without expecting anything in return.  

Our friends, family, and spouses need our love and understanding. I need love and understanding! To put it frankly, I'm not always loveable!

One of my favorite verses starts out: Love is faithful. Love is kind. Love is not selfish. Love keeps no record of wrongs. Boy, I could just camp on these sentences and my love journey would take a lifetime!

I'm at the beginning of this journey and stumbling a bit along the way, but I pray I can love as I want to be loved, with grace and forgiveness.

Let's choose to love. Let's hold hands and walk together on this journey. Let me know how your walk is going. I'll share my humble stumbles and love lessons along the way!

+ photos above by the very talented Katherine Joy Photography.

This Post is created in conjunction with the ladies of The Refined Collective. Be sure and read the other articles on love today by: Go Fit Jo,  Jackie V. ,The Refined WomanTonyha Kae, and Tutti del Monte.  Also, join us over on instagram today under #therefinedcollective to see what everyone else has to say about love.

Travel Bug.

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I bought some records from a Montauk shop called Intersleeve last weekend. I've been playing these new gems every chance I get. I'm rockin' the tunes in the morning when I have a few seconds to spare while making coffee or writing one more email (ugh! lol).

One of my records is from an artist I love, Francoise Hardy. I get a lot of my styling inspiration from her. Along with her classic style, however, I've fallen in love with her music. It transports me straight to a dreamy Paris cafe.

With all my new records, music has become the answer to my travel bug. I'm flying on the wings of a song. That's pretty rad!

My music is on and I'm dreaming of a trip to enjoy a cheese plate at my favorite Paris cafe. Or... perhaps sampling some ceviche on a tropical beach somewhere.

I'm transported to another destination entirely by the power of music. That's travel made easy... and cheap!

Do you have the travel bug? Where are you going? How are you getting there?

Happy travels to you whether you're jetting to a destination or just musically dreaming of one in your apartment.

 

-photo one: Paris, France photo two: Little Gasparilla Island , photo three: Santorini , Greece,  photo four: The Maldives
 

Three Generations on Natural Beauty.

My mom and grandmother came to New York City for a visit a couple months ago. My family very rarely gets to come visit so this was quite a treat. I was so excited to have gal time with my favorite home-girls (literally) haha! My grandma hadn't been to New York City for quite a while and she wanted to see all the undiscovered non-tourists places—HOORAY! We visited all our favorite restaurants, museums, and off-the-radar spots. We ate dessert, laughed, and talked up a storm. It was such bliss! At the end of their visit we even took a trip upstate to the Catskills to one of our favorite places to hike in Peekamoose! 

I loved having some precious time with wiser generations. I learn so much from these incredible women in my life! While I had them here (and their wealth of knowledge), I wanted to get their take on something I know my gal pals and I struggle with on a sometimes daily basis: Natural Beauty. So without further ado, here are two generations' (my mother and my grandmother's) thoughts as well as my own take (not as wise, but trying) on natural beauty. 

 

Tips from my Grandmother:

Natural beauty begins inside with positive thoughts.  These thoughts can bring a sparkle to your eyes and a smile to your face. Another beauty tip is to be satisfied with who you are. If you aren't worried about yourself, you can focus on others. That's when beauty shines through!

Regarding physical and mental health, you can be the most beautiful when you're caring for yourself with a proper diet, cleanliness, and physical fitness. Maintain good manners, attitude, and dress (which does not have to be expensive or elaborate).

Here's another tip: Let go of problems, frustrations, and resentment. Let bygones BE GONE to keep wrinkles away!

Final tip: Be joyful and pursue happiness. Your beauty will shine!

 

My Mom's Natural Beauty Tips:

Maybe I've gotten lazy. Maybe I've gotten wiser. I don't worry about makeup anymore. Since I've edged into the big 6-0, I worry about makeup less and smiling more. I worry about my looks less and my spirit more. Reaching out is the watchword. The prettiest folks are the friendliest. God wouldn't have it any other way.

I have to admit, I'm not perfect in my pursuit of beauty, but I'm working on it.

In the end, I hope folks remember my acts of love more than my looks.

Natural beauty is found in the deep recesses of our souls. It's the gift only God gives. Our acts of kindness pass this beauty on....generation after generation.

 

My Tips:

Still trying to figure this all out myself as gal in her twenties. I feel insecure about being natural sometimes. I have feelings like I’m not enough or i’m not DOING enough. You know, those annoying reminders you don’t have what it takes. 

I have noticed by nourishing my body from the inside out I have seen a huge improvement on my overall glow and sans-makeup state. Eating a (most-of-them-time) plant-based diet has helped this process immensely but also not making myself feel guilty for having that cupcake when I’m with a girlfriend is essential. I feel like when we start shaming ourselves and trying to have an overly perfect meal plan all the time, this creates so much stress. So I let myself cheat…once in a while at least. 

I’m learning inner joy can be contagious. I heard recently giving someone a compliment can mean more to them then handing them money. Isn't it amazing how we can build someone up with just our words alone? I love this. Putting this into practice in my own life everyday has helped nourish not only my deep friendships but has also helped curate new ones along the way. 

My most beautiful friends and people I see around me are those who radiate joy and the joy is then handed off to those around them. A smile can go a long way on the sometimes not so friendly streets of New York City. This is natural beauty to me. I see it in my mother, grandmother and many people I am so blessed to have around me. My only hope is that I can bring this kind of natural beauty to the world and this is my journey.

 

Bits and Pieces.

As I eat leftover tortilla soup I made a few days ago (ergo...I hope this is still OK to eat), I'm reflecting on blessings.

This year has taught me to step back, take a few deep breaths, and consider the good things in my life. I'm very thankful for these in-between moments and pauses and all the blessings I've been given. I'd like to share a few with you.

I also hope you're enjoying your "in-between" moments and blessings as well. Why don't you share them with me? 

Love ya! -B

A cozy corner inside my favorite New York City boutique Warm. Always finding new treasures in here. I have to be careful--if you know what I mean. Warm carries some of my favorite designers such as Ace & Jig and Ulla Johnson. Be sure to stop in if you are in the city!

Cherry blossoms are blooming all around the city. I love to smell them as I pass. It's such a great break from the hustle of daily life.

Story of my life pretty much. Going from flight to flight. Here is a taste of some of my carry-on essentials. The jacket is from Warm btw.

So thrilled that Ulla Johnson has her own little shop in New York City now. So happy I get to shop my favorites in person. I can't get enough of Ulla's ultra feminine style. A must-visit shop if you are in the city.

flowers in my hair...

We recently took the most magical trip to California. We went for work but, after projects, spent some much-needed time together.

We explored some of our favorite spots, staying in a cozy Malibu house. We enjoyed days by the ocean and even read some books outside. How relaxing is that???

As we left our cozy retreat, we drove by this quaint stretch of land full of  gorgeous wildflowers. I practically jumped out of the car to get a few shots. What fun to dive in and smell the gorgeous yellow flowers, and, of course, dodge the bees (haha)!

Here's to opportunities to stop and "smell the flowers" (and maybe pluck a few for your hair!) I hope you have a chance to enjoy a springtime flower field, too.  

Also...if you're headed to California...be on the lookout for my California guide to all things cozy, simple, fun and flower-packed.      

Coming soon!  

love is a funny thing.

Love can be funny. One thing that's helped my marriage is a sense of humor. Sometimes a well-timed joke is just the right medicine. It hits the spot. 

Sunday was the anniversary of our engagement. Aaron and I got engaged in Paris in the gardens of Notre Dame. The funny thing about the engagement was... I didn’t actually say "yes". Ok, let me rephrase that. I didn’t say yes right away. 

Of course, I loved Aaron. He was the only one I could ever imagine spending the rest of my life with, but was I ready? Did I feel ready? Heck no! 

When Aaron popped the question, I was scared out of my bones. I was out of breath and practically hyperventilated. What a sight! I probably looked like some crazy tourist lady to the locals. 

Looking back, I’m kinda glad I didn’t say "yes" right away. Deciding to love someone forever is a hard decision. I didn’t take this lightly. After all, my life flashed before my eyes! 

Thirty-five years ago, my mother actually said "no" to my dad when he asked her to marry him. Even though she loved my dad, she high-tailed it to Europe and backpacked her way through the tough decision. 

I guess I have some of the same wild spirit in me. It showed up in Paris. Mom always taught me to be independent and to chase adventure, so I had to take some time before I decided to share my adventure with someone else. In the end, however, both my mom and I found our way back to the men we loved. 

I’m glad I said yes to Aaron. He makes me laugh. He makes me breakfast. PLUS, he makes the best homemade pizza in my life. Seriously, he is the best adventure buddy I could ever love to laugh with. 

I’m glad love can be funny. Don't take things so seriously you lose sight of the fun. As for me, life is a lot more fun now that Aaron is my partner in crime. 

A pause.

Pauses are interesting.

Pauses take all shapes and forms, but they are necessary. Sometimes you just need to hit the remote control and take a break.

Through my 26 years of life, I've experienced pauses for health issues, for death, and, sometimes, pauses for life. I've got to admit I've put this blog on pause so far this year. I've been taking much needed time for family, old friends, and some very valued time for myself.

I think, sometimes, especially in New York City,  you can get so wrapped up in the game of it all you forget to press pause. You forget to even take a breath.

I'm glad I pressed the pause button, but now it's back to blogging!  Watch for more stories, recipes, tips, fun and exotic explorations!

I'm taking the pause off my blog, but I'll still cherish the moments of reflection. Matter of fact, I might share some with you. Let's walk together through this hyper-social landscape and take time to pause along the way to admire the view.

I look forward to getting together again!

In the meantime, let me know what you discover when you hit the "pause" button.

Love,

Brynn

How I got my start.

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A couple of weeks ago, on my dear friends Kat and Em's site The Refined Woman, I had the pleasure of doing an interview about everything from how I launched my career to my biggest challenges. I always think sharing your story is a very powerful thing. Although my story is not perfect, it's mine. I have to say... I have loved the ride so far. The interview is below. Be sure to check out more uplifting and wonderfully authentic stories like this on The Refined Woman.

 

Growing up I really wanted to be
A mix between Meriwether Lewis and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Women.  A strong, exploring woman!

My most-used emojiis are
The pizza and red heart because of my overwhelming love for pizza.

My go-to order at a coffee shop is
A decaf black coffee. I’ve been off caffeine for about 2 years now. I would like to think I’m a little less cray because of it.

I don’t know how I ever lived without
My husband. He makes a mean breakfast (lol)!

One thing people don’t know about me is
I’m the distant relative of Meriwether Lewis (Chief explorer of the Lewis and Clark Expedition). I also cannot blow a bubble with gum for the life of me.

My real life hero is
My mother, who has been with me through everything. She started an organization to help cancer patients and helped launch an after-school club to provide a safe place for students to play and learn. She also supports a center which serves kids in need. If I can make half the difference in the world as she has, I’ll be blessed. Go mom!

What I love about my work is
I love the flexibility to travel and work with my husband. There are days or sometimes weeks when we hardly get to see each other, but other times, we can tackle large-scale projects together. We have so much fun. I love creating lifelong memories with him!

The hardest thing about my work is
There is no set stopping point. I am always working on the go. It’s hard to know when to truly decompress. Tech breaks are a must. I cherish those electronic-free moments.

How I got started with my current career
I was working in corporate fashion. The intensity and bottom-line mentality was stressful. I realized it was no place for me. I wanted to try to make a go of it on my own.

Luckily, I had some great people to mentor me and help me grow and expand. I had already created Being Elliott. Styling and consulting came as a natural extension of my blog.

I’ve always been a very visual person. I feel blessed to work in a very visual field. My work is not always a picnic, however, I often have to power through stressful moments. I tell anyone interested in freelance the first years can be tough. It’s important to have a strong foundation and support system.

The dumbest thing I did when I was starting out
I said yes to too many projects at once. The result: I felt like an inexperienced court jester trying to juggle fire. We all know how that turns out!

My typical day looks like
I always start my day with a power smoothie! You can’t go wrong with kale, spinach, water and a wide assortment of healthy add-ins!

I might be on location styling. I might have my own photo shoot. I may even have to style and shoot right in my own home.

My biggest interruptions are unexpected delays. I live and work in New York, where life is dependent on subways, cabs, walking, and, of course weather! That can get crazy!

Everything is deadline oriented. That can be frightening. An unexpected call, someone arriving late… it’s like watching dominoes fall. I have to be creative to stop the avalanche!

I used to think success meant
Like every little girl, I looked at magazines and thought flawless beauty, perfect clothes and lots of money spelled success! Of course, I also thought you had to add New York living to the mix!

My current definition of success is
I believe success is finding beauty in imperfection, celebrating unique qualities and, most importantly, sharing love.

An example of when I had to push through my insecurities/fear of taking risks was when
I don’t always have the best self-confidence. When facing big projects, that negative voice in my head screams at me. I try to remember God gave me a gift to use. In any job, you’ve got to be open to failure. Don’t let that paralyze you. It’s OK to make mistakes. I’ve made my share. It isn’t the end of the world.

I know my work/life balance is out of sync when
I’m crabby! I need to stop, pray, eat a healthy snack (My go-to snacks are almonds, kale chips, or fruit) and focus on others.

The last time I created something I was proud of was
My husband Aaron and I created a short film which was featured at Cannes. I also just created and directed a unique handbag commercial which not only featured handbags, but also the strength, dignity and beauty of women. It’s something I’m really proud of.

I wish I could tell my younger self
Don’t be so worried about tomorrow. Focus outward. Everyone is dealing with their own struggles. Help others feel better. In the end – you will feel better.

The legacy I hope to leave is
My mom says she wants her tombstone to read “She loved God…and it showed.”  I’m with my mother. I hope people are able to see how much I love them.

xo,
Brynn